Lutsig-Elgrably Floats State Lockbox Money For Community Centers

Ethan Lustig-Elgrably
Ethan Lustig-Elgrably. candidate in New York State 45th Assembly District Race.

Forget putting state money into a lockbox for transit repairs and upkeep as a number of state lawmakers are suggesting.

Ethan Lustig-Elgrably, one of the two Democrats running for the vacant 46th District Assembly seat, this week floated a plan to put a lockbox allocation of state money into the expansion of community centers.

Lustig is pledging if elected to create a dedicated community center fund at the state level to secure capital funding to support the creation and construction of local community centers in Brooklyn and across the state.

Ethan Lustig-Elgrably

There are numerous organizations and non-profits across Southern Brooklyn that are providing outstanding services and programming. We can do more to empower these groups by improving access to community centers and spaces,” said Lustig-Elgrably.

“When elected to the Assembly, I will work to create a dedicated fund to support the creation, construction, and maintenance of community centers. All New Yorkers should have access to community centers and spaces, regardless of their economic status,” he added.

Lutig-Elgrably said upon taking office he will work with assembly colleagues and Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) to set money aside in the budget for a dedicated fund for community center construction and maintenance.

The first phase of the plan would be a pilot program in Southern Brooklyn and then based on results in the first two years, it would be expanded to other areas of the state, he said.

“There is a need across the state for more community centers for all ages and we can make a real difference by ensuring the state government is doing its part to fund projects.

The plan also calls for state funding to support existing non-profits and community organizations and help them find space for their programming and events.

Lustig-Elgrably was short on more details regarding how many community centers there are currently in the district.

The plan also comes as his predecessor, disgraced former Assemblywoman Pam Harris (D) was convicted on corruption charges stemming from the misuse of taxpayer money allocated to her non-profit, the Coney Island Generation Gap.

The candidate’s idea also didn’t address how it would affect existing community centers within the nine New York City Housing Authority developments in Coney Island.

The idea did win praise from Coney Island Youth Alive, Inc. Executive Director Sheila Smalls.

“With the federal government cutting funding and grants, we need leaders at the state level who are thinking outside the box to support community organizations. Ethan Lustig-Elgrably is doing just that, and CI Youth Alive, Inc is excited to partner with him to create more community spaces here in Southern Brooklyn,”said Smalls.

Lustig-Elgrably is facing Democrat Mathylde Frontus in the Sept. 13 primary. The winner will face Republican Steve Saperstein. The district includes Coney Island and parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Gravesend and Brighton Beach.